Arshavin - English game hard
Andrey Arshavin admits English football is much harder than he thought - and he needs to work at his game.
Last Updated: 04/03/09 4:24pm
Andrey Arshavin admits English football is much harder than he first thought - and he needs to work at his game to help the Gunners into the UEFA Champions League next season.
The playmaker used to enjoy watching Premier League football on TV while living in his native Russia and featuring for Zenit St Petersburg.
But now the Russia international is playing for Arsenal, he is seeing a different side to the game and he needs to work hard to adjust.
Arshavin's comments come after he admitted earlier in the week that he needs to improve on his fitness levels.
The 27-year-old told the club's official website: "I watched the matches that were broadcast in Russia whenever possible.
"But to tell the truth it seemed less difficult on TV. Only now do I understand how dynamic and hard the football is here.
"Now I would like to score as soon as possible. Everybody expected me to score in my very first match but that never happens, especially with me.
"But nothing was easy and immediate for me. Arsenal is no exception. So I need patience and hard work now.
"The main task now is to get into the Champions League for next season."
As well working hard on the field, Arshavin has been putting in the work off it, by learning English.
He added: "I began my English studies about two years ago.
"I had no solid plans [of moving to London]. But I already thought about England and moreover English is an international language and can be handy everywhere.
"All experienced people said that the better you know the language the easier it will be.
"And even if I had not left Russia, knowledge of a foreign language cannot be a waste."